More than 200,000 people won tax-free cash in the weekly Prize Bond draws in 2021, latest figures show.
The average pay-out was €75 but a €50,000 windfall is handed out every week and a €250,000 jackpot is won four times a year.
Founded in 1957, the Prize Bonds are Ireland’s longest running prize draw and are operated by the Prize Bond Company on behalf of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).
A Prize Bonds spokesperson said: "The number of Prize Bonds wins in 2021 was approximately 208,000.
"The total value of wins in 2021 is approximately €15.6m."
A weekly draw includes one prize of €50,000, ten prizes of €1,000, another ten prizes of €500 and over 4,000 prizes of €50.
As the fund grows, the number of €50 prizes increases each month.
The Prize Bond Company also said total sales of Prize Bond for 2021 reached €667m.
Prize Bonds remain a popular gift at major occasions including births, milestone birthdays, Christenings, Holy Communions, Confirmations, engagements and weddings.
Figures show that the overall value of prize money has dropped gradually from €46m in 2012 to €15.6m in 2021.
A Prize Bonds spokesperson said: "The rate applied for the calculation of the prizes awarded has reduced over this period and is determined by the NTMA .
"The NTMA keeps this rate under constant review vis a vis the prevailing interest rate in the market."
An individual Prize Bond costs €6.25 but customers are only allowed a minimum purchase of four for €25.
With Prize Bonds, bond holders are given the chance to win cash prizes every week rather than be paid interest.
All winnings are tax-free, and Prize Bonds can be cashed in at any time after the minimum holding period of three months.
Prize Bonds can be purchased by Direct Debit, online at www.StateSavings.ie, by telephone to callsave 1850 30 50 60 or at your local Post Office.
Prize Bond holders can check draw results online at www.StateSavings.ie. The main winning numbers are also available in
most Post Offices.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.